Typically, Wildlife Wednesday posts are just photographs. Other than Butterflies, I don’t take too many shots of other wildlife. But, it is not as if I don’t notice!
It’s the dead of winter, mid-January, in the upper mid-west. Here we have several inches of snow on the ground and temperatures that hover in the single digits quite frequently at this time of year. Some days bring a frigidness that is too cold to ski, snow-shoe or even walk the dog, such as yesterday. (Don’t worry, she was walked several times! We are good puppy parents!)
As I look out from my desk, were our pup was snuggled up underneath for the first time this morning, white flakes are gently falling from the sky. It’s already warmer today than it was yesterday – the temperature actually increased overnight. But, the large hawk, possibly a Red-Tailed Hawk or Cooper’s Hawk (I cannot tell which) that perches in the scraggly tree that lives in the dry creek bed adjacent to our property is not there yet today. Maybe, he found another place more protected to look for his next meal.
The black-capped chickadees that flit in and out of a stand of Norway Spruce, also in my line of sight, must be still sleeping in their coniferous winter hideaway. Typically, we can see them hurriedly flying about when we walk the dog!
And, even the Cardinals are conspicuously absent this morning. They moved to the backyard, which I cannot see from my home office window after our Curly Willow had to be cut down. This year we’ve seen them, in multiple pairs, sitting in and around our Korean Lilac tree, “Miss Kim.” It’s funny they do not gravitate towards the Red Twig Dogwood in the front bed. If they did, I might be able to get a glimpse of their colorful plumage against all of our white snow cover!
Lastly, we occasionally will see a bluejay. But, none are visible today. The yard appears void of life. Everything is still. Snow blankets the ground, the only green is the needles of the Norway Spruce. The field has died back and is brown, the trunks of the trees are grayish brown, and in the distance is the tan stubble of corn that was never picked during the fall harvest. It was probably too wet.
Next month, we are going to Santa Fe, New Mexico. I think I’ll purchase a bird guide for our visit there. It’ll be interesting to see some species that we aren’t accustomed to in the upper mid-west. And, I’m hoping to not have the snow cover, either. Happy watching!